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Dutch weigh joining air campaign against IS group in Syria

Reuters , Thursday 19 Nov 2015
Dutch PM
Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte (Photo: Reuters)
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The Netherlands, part of the US-led coalition that is bombing Islamic State group in Iraq, is "seriously considering" joining the air campaign across the border in Syria, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday.

Rutte made the comments during a Dutch parliamentary debate about the Paris attacks last Friday, when 129 people were killed across the French capital.

When the Dutch announced in September that they would contribute F-16 fighter jets to combat IS militants, Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said there was no international legal basis to bomb in neighbouring Syria. [ID: L6N0RP4LJ]

"It is there now," said Defence Ministry spokeswoman Sascha Louwhoff. "Legally, there is no longer an impediment."

Among Dutch considerations are a detailed request for military assistance from France, which has invoked a European Union defence clause seeking backup from allies, as well as the impact of military intervention and the role of Russia.

"We are seriously considering looking at what a contribution could be on the Syrian side (of the border)," Rutte told lawmakers in The Hague on Thursday.

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